Steelhead Video

I don’t quite know what it is about migratory game fish. Is it their strength? Could it be their tenacity for life, the nomadic existence? Recently these are the questions going through my head. Whatever the case may be, nearly everywhere they are found there is also a small subculture of individuals who devote a significant part of their lives trying to catch them. To the non-fishing outsider this world would rarely be understood and usually scoffed at. The dynamic is an interesting one. The scene usually involves a long drive or flight, sleep depravation, extreme bouts of adrenaline and elation followed by the inevitable crash and more caffeine. This is a tough game, not only on the body but on the mind and spirit as well. In most circumstances, people obsessed with chasing these fish have led a life of constant movement as well. Keep in mind this is just a theory, of which I have many and few, if any have been proven.The common thread that binds this type of individual, more often than not is an early exposure to catching fish. Looking back I would venture to say that 90% of the people I have fly fished with grew up with a spinning rod tucked away in the corner of the garage. Somehow, through a random series of events, it has transpired into a constant craving for migratory fish on a fly rod. Coincidence? Perhaps. I think it may go a bit further but there is a certain amount of mystique there so I’ll leave it alone.The plan was to divide and conquer. Two guys would head to a totally different river, the other two would stay on the main stem. In the evening we would compare notes and plan accordingly for the next day, “bird-dogging” is the jargon. I admit begrudgingly that Jason and I did not find the mother-load, although we did get into a few steelhead. When we met up that evening it was like Christmas Eve. Cheesy grins, sideward glances and then the laptop was flipped open and Jeremy set it on the hood of the truck. Huge, bright, angry steel was on the monitor and high fives all the way around. The next morning we rose well before first light, we trudged a mile or so over uneven terrain and joked with each about how filthy with them the run would be. Jeremy and Joey put us right in the key drifts as they were more than glad to share the wealth. What comes around goes around and never is that statement more fitting than in this situation. The anticipation was brutal as we waited for the October sun to show itself. The veil of darkness lifted slowly as I a placed my first cast in a slow moving seam. Two more was all it took and the surface of the water erupted into a silvery cart-wheel. As I played my fish out I glanced down river and could barley make out the silhouette of Jason’s rod as it bucked wildly over the weight of a hefty steelhead. Just as Jason and I had pointed them in the right direction in seasons past, the favor had been reciprocated and now we were reaping the benefits. The run was loaded with thick shouldered silver bullets and voracious hook-jawed brown trout. It was one of those times when you almost feel a little gluttonous by the end of the day, almost being the keyword here. It doesn’t shake out like this often but when it does the sense of accomplishment can be overwhelming.